Thali Menu #132 – Kashmir | Winter Foods
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent, it has been described by famous Persian poet Amir Khusru “as a paradise on earth”, also called the ‘Switzerland of the East’.
Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool was exported globally. Kashmiris are adept at knitting and making Pashmina shawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. Saffron, too, is cultivated and exported from Kashmir. The region is also known for its silver-work, papier-mâché, wood-carving, and the weaving of silk.
‘Kashur khyon’ or Kashmiri Cuisine is influenced by its geographical position, cultural, religious traditions. Wazwan is a multi-course feast and is synonymous with Kashmiri Cuisine.
‘Zaika-e-Kashmir’ – ‘Tastes of Kashmir’
The region offers a wide array of food items, particularly authentic non-veg cuisines made of chicken, mutton and fish, some of which has become hugely popular across the nation and globally like the Rogan Josh, Kashmiri Pulao or Phirni or Phiren.
The Kashmiri cuisine also prides itself for some exquisite vegetarian dishes mostly influenced by the traditional cuisines of the Kashmiri Pundit (Brahmin) community and the Mughlai cuisines.
Generally, Kashmiri cuisines, most of which are marked with ample use of saffron, turmeric, and yogurt are quite rich in flavour and mild in taste with curries that are light.
Spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and fennel which are generally considered to warm the body are used widely in different Kashmiri cuisines, while garlic and onion are not used much.
Dry fruits are also used extensively in different Kashmiri dishes, especially in preparing curries.
Due to its harsh geographic and climatic conditions dried fruits, vegetables, fish and meats formed an integral part of Kashmiri cuisine through the long winter season, that is changing today with fresh fruits and vegetables becoming more accessible all year round.
At Daana this weekend, you will be savouring some delicacies from the region that are traditionally considered to be winter foods. So, come join us and relish the flavours of this most scenic part of India.
Recipe of the week
Pineapple Kesari/ Pineapple Sheera
Pineapple Kesari / Kesari Bhath/ Pineapple Sheera
Classic Indian semolina pudding
- 1/2 cup Semolina
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Ghee-clarified butter
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Pineapple -chopped
- 8-10 Cashew nuts
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder -
- 8-10 Saffron strands
- Dry roast semolina slightly until it is hot to touch.
- Heat a tsp of oil and fry cashew nuts on low heat until golden brown.
- Cut pineapple, discard the skin and core. Chop the pineapple flesh into small cubes and keep it aside.
Preparing the Kesari Bhath
- Heat the rest of the ghee and fry in a wok or Kadhai, add the semolina and roast lightly for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the chopped pineapple and mix well.
- In a separate saucepan bring 1 1/2 cup of water to boil, add saffron strands
- Add the boiling water to the semolina, stirring continuously. Cook the semolina on medium flame stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming in the semolina.
- Once all the water has evaporated, add sugar. When the sugar is added, the mixture will turn watery again.
- Cook the semolina well on medium or low heat.
- When it starts leaving the sides of the wok add fried cashewnuts, cardamom powder and switch off the heat.
- As it cools it will thicken.
- Garnish with chopped pineapple and fried nuts and serve warm.
- This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.